Bank robber says bank bailouts justify abrupt withdrawal

San Francisco police investigators are seeking the public’s help in tracking down a suspect who walked into a downtown bank, explained that he was fed up with corporate bailouts and threatened to detonate a bomb.

The manager escorted the man to a private room, where the suspect explained that he was employed by an organization that is concerned about U.S. government bailouts of corporations. … The money, the suspect explained, "would go to people who deserve it."

Can you steal your own money? Can a legal defense be built around the idea that it wasn’t a bank robbery but actually as "taxpayer repossession"?

Chances are someone will try it soon – bank robberies are definitely on the rise. They jumped 19.5% during the fourth quarter of 2008 over the previous quarter.

Auto industry shoots foot and then reloads

At yesterday’s hearings by House Financial Services Committee on the potential bailout for the GM and other US-based auto companies,  the CEOs were asked which of them had flown by private jet into Washington for the hearing. All three raised their hands.

car-money“There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses.” — Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York.

While it may have been, as one writer described it, a cheap shot — it was no cheaper a shot than Ford CEO Alan Mulally arriving at Capitol Hill in a Ford Fusion hybrid.



The kind of forward thinking people we want working on this problem

“These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.” —  Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, September, 2003. Frank is now the chair of House Financial Services Committee.

Frank spoke against a Bush administration plan to create an agency to oversee Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The proposed agency would have had the authority “to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.”

A simple guide to making sense of the financial mess

This subprime primer was forwarded by my pal Dauber. It is incredibly accurate. If you haven’t yet received it via email you can find the entire thing at BusinessPundit or drop me a line and I’ll send you the powerpoint stack. I haven’t found out who did it, but he/she/they is/are a genius (s).

Some days there is no joy in “I told you so.”

As I mentioned Friday:

Today the early headlines say Stocks soar at opening after gov’t rescue plan. Forgive me for thinking the markets are indulging in some irrational exuberance. We’ve seen this sort of response before. This is from the Wall Street Journal on March 19: Stocks and commodities plummeted on Wednesday as the euphoria that carried equity markets to massive gains a day earlier gave way to nervousness that the broader U.S. economy hasn’t yet escaped the dangers of the credit crisis.

At the close today: Anxious Investors Push Dow Down 372 Points

I’d be more impressed in my precognitive abilities except this was about as hard to predict as what happens when a ball rolls off the side of a table.

It’s never a good feeling when you’re really hoping you’re wrong.